KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the KSC Space Life Sciences Lab, Dr. Richard Strayer, a microbial research scientist with Dynamac at KSC, works on the Research Space Bioconverter. The apparatus is a rotating drum composter that contains waste for decomposition. Strayer is experimenting with a process called denitrification, in which organisms use nitrate instead of oxygen to break down the waste and produce nitrogen as a byproduct. This process, anaerobic respiration using nitrate, has never been tried in composting and is achieving promising results. The Lab is exploring various aspects of a bioregenerative life support system. Such research and technology development will be crucial to long-term habitation of space by humans.